Turmeric: Why isn’t it FDA Approved?

Why hasn’t the FDA approved Turmeric? Along with other ancient herbs and natural remedies, Turmeric is perhaps one of the most studied compounds, but for some reason, the FDA has yet to approve its use for even the simplest of situations. During the last several years, scientists have conducted thousands of studies examining Turmeric and its main active ingredient, curcumin [1].

 

Ironically, the FDA’s mission statement is an oxymoron in and of itself:

 

“FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines more effective, safer, and more affordable and by helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to maintain and improve their health.”

 

If the FDA were truthfully pro-“more affordable” medicine, then natural and affordable substitutes for harmful pharmaceuticals would be studied right alongside the expensive drugs pharmaceutical companies promote. Instead, the FDA has created a wall around itself preventing natural substances from entering its facilities. How? Well, it takes anywhere from four to eleven billion dollars for a drug to be tested and approved by the FDA. This, alone, is cost prohibitive for the smaller vitamin and supplement companies who would like to one day see Turmeric approved by the FDA. Sadly, there is not enough profit in Turmeric for even a sizeable big-pharma firm to back the investment because it is a natural substance.

 

How did we get to this point? Without getting too political, I argue the power and authority of the FDA should be dramatically lessened, and the power of the unelected bureaucrats within the agency should be completely extinguished. If you still believe there should be a central government agency which should test supplements and drugs, well, they can, but the testing expense should not determine whether natural and well-researched compounds like Turmeric become approved.

 

Regardless, that will never probably happen; the lobbying roots of the pharmaceutical companies run too deep in Washington. I support personal liberty and one’s own right to choose what they want to put inside their body; Turmeric does not harm anyone, but it does damage the bottom line of big-pharma. Remember, the American Cancer Society listed glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and it is the FDA’s job to make sure the amount of glyphosate on post-processed food is at the acceptable limit, but they will not look at Turmeric [3].

 

There are my two cents on the subject.

 

Moving on, Turmeric is a fantastic compound. Several years ago, during the Ebola fiasco, researchers at SignPath Pharma conducted a study and concluded the use of curcumin [main ingredient in Turmeric] should be investigated in patients with Ebola. Further, the authors provoked the notion of intravenous formulations of curcumin to achieve therapeutic levels of curcumin in the bloodstream [2]. This is only one example of Turmeric’s potential.

 

Additionally, various other studies have formed a solid foundation by arguing the broad spectrum of benefits of Turmeric:

 

Alzheimer’s Disease: "All three patients exhibited irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, two patients suffer from urinary incontinence and wonderings. They were prescribed turmeric powder capsules and started recovering from these symptoms without any adverse reaction in the clinical symptom and laboratory data." [4]

 

Antibiotic-Resistant Infection: "Curcumin, a natural polyphenolic flavonoid extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa L. [turmeric], was shown to possess superior potency to resensitize methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to antibiotics." [5]

 

Oral Health: "Chlorhexidine gluconate as well as turmeric mouthwash can be effectively used as an adjunct to mechanical plaque control in prevention of plaque and gingivitis. Both the mouthwashes have comparable anti-plaque, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties." [6]

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis: "Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions." [7]

 

Cardiovascular Disease: "[W]e noticed slight reductions of mean body weight, BMI, WC [weight circumference] lipid profiles (total cholesterol, LDL-C) and blood glucose profiles (FPG and HbA1c) and a slight increase of HDL-C from the group of patients treated with curcumin. We did not see such patterns from the placebo-treated group (Online Supplemental Material in Table 2). All together, these results indicated that curcumin extract can be used for intervention, at least for a period of 6 months, without any serious unwanted effect." [8]

 

HPV Infections: "HPV clearance rate in Basant arm (87.7%) was significantly higher than the combined placebo arms (73.3%). Curcumin caused higher rate of clearance (81.3%) than placebo though the difference was not statistically significant." [9]

 

Depression: “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.” [10]

 

As you can see, Turmeric has a wide variety of studies supporting its benefits, and these are only a handful of the thousands of studies conducted, and the FDA cannot ignore them forever. If you are interested in trying Turmeric, try Healthmasters’ Turmeric Force or Healthmasters’ Black Seed oil with Turmeric.

 

References:

[1] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/turmeric

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25600522

[3] https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665200/

[5] https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/11/18283

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498709/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24445038

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24289574

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23832433